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Good News for Historical Mysteries

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Charles King:
At a recent conference (see the conference thread) agent Barbara Poelle said Historical Fiction was in demand still, and recent trends have been towards sidekicks to historical figures being the PoV's/MC's, although, she says that Historicals using actually historical figures are still in vogue as well.


C. King  8)

JIM DOHERTY:
Charles,

I've heard several different definitions about what constitutes "historical fiction."

One writer specializing in historical mysteries defined historical as any era in which no one who was alive then is still alive.

Another writer differentiated between "historical" and mere "period" fiction, the latter being stories set in a particular past era but otherwise wholly fictional, while "historical" is fiction that's based on actual events.  Hence, a Regency-era romance by Georgette Heyer would be mere "period," while the military novels of Patrick O'Brian, closely based on actual naval engagements during the Napoleonic Wars (which took place during the Regency) are truly "historical."

In an artcle I wrote about historical police procedurals, I defined historical as set far enough in the past that we can look at it with some historical perspective.  Somewhat arbitrarily, I set 20 years, roughly a generation, as the cut-off.

By my definition, the 1970's are fair game for historical fiction.

BTW, the article's available on the 'Net.  If anyone's interested, I can post a link.

B L McAllister:

--- Quote from: JIM DOHERTY on December 05, 2009, 01:45:41 PM ---BTW, the article's available on the 'Net.  If anyone's interested, I can post a link.

--- End quote ---

Please do.

Byron

JIM DOHERTY:
You only have to ask me once.

The article's called "Long-Ago Lawmen."  It was published in Mystery Readers Journal.  You should be able to find it here:

http://www.mysteryreaders.org/Issues/History_Supplement.pdf

Thanks for asking.

B L McAllister:
Thanks!
Byron

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